You probably heard it, you definitely saw it on our website. Some units have a word “separate” in its name.

Ukrainian Armed Forces have two types of military units – linear and separate. They differ in terms of operational and structure.

Operational differences

Linear units don’t have a military number and cannot have, by the law, their own officially approved insignia. All linear units are required to use the insignia of the parent unit. Linear units are usually deployed to the area of the parent’s responsibilities. Separate units can be detached from the parent and assigned to a different unit for a certain period of time.

Last but not least, linear units are housed at the garrison of their parent unit. Separate units have their own, and it can far away from the headquarters of the parent unit. We can take 58th Motorized Brigade as the example. The headquarters of the brigade is located in Konotop, and the subordinated separate battalions are based in Voronizh, Stetskivka and Hlukiv.

Structure differences

linear assault battalion, ORBAT by sirdo

Linear units rely on the parent unit for necessary support and logistics. On the other hand, separate units need to have all necessities to survive on its own for a certain period of time. That means artillery, logistics, and other support elements.

1st Assault Battalion, ORBAT by sirdo

Russian full-scale invasion in 2022

The full scale invasion and quick expansion of Ukrainian Ground Forces caught the command unprepared for such situations. Linear units were suddenly detached from their parent brigades and deployed to support other units, many times hundreds of kilometers away from the rest of their brigade. This led to a mess, which hasn’t been resolved until today, and many brigades continue to work on a battalion level.

A similar situation arose in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and invaded Donbas. Ukrainian Army, unable to muster full-fledged brigades, formed battalion tactical groups (BTG) instead.

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